Last updated: 3 July, 2012

Syrian activists quit opposition conference

The Syrian Revolution General Commission (SRGC) have pulled out of an opposition conference in Cairo, citing political “disputes,” a statement said on Tuesday.

The two-day conference opened on Monday in the Egyptian capital, under the auspices of the Arab League, to forge a common vision for a transition in the country after a blueprint was adopted by world powers on the weekend.

The SRGC said it refuses to “engage in political disputes, which play with the fate of our people and our revolution” or accept “agendas which place the revolution between the anvil and the hammer of international conflicts and the criminal Syrian regime.”

The group also criticised world powers who agreed at a meeting Saturday in Geneva on a transitional plan for violence-hit Syria, in compromise with Russia and China, key allies of the Damascus regime.

“Talking about unifying the opposition is hollow speech aimed at covering up for the failure of the Geneva meeting,” the SRGC said in its statement, also accusing the Syrian regime of committing more massacres in the country.

“The priority now is to continue to strengthen unity among the Syrian revolutionary forces, mainly the Free Syrian Army inside the country, and to secure support for this (military) option by all means,” it added.

“This alone assures blessed victory for the revolution and can change the domestic and international equation,” it said.

The Free Syrian Army is boycotting the conference and has described the Cairo meeting as a “conspiracy.”

The SRGC was formed in August 2011 — five months after the start of the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad’s rule — by some 44 opposition groups committed to focus on toppling the regime.

More than 16,500 people have been killed in violence in Syria since the uprising erupted in March last year, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

This figure is impossible to independently verify, and the United Nations no longer publishes its own estimates of the death toll.